Oregon Ocean Commercial Dungeness Crab Permit Holders and Interested Persons, Washington’s round 3 test of the Long Beach area (which tested under criteria at 22.8% in round 2) has been completed after some delay due to ocean conditions, resulting in a meat recovery rate of 27.9%. The minimum meat recovery rates to be met in each test area are 23% north of Cascade Head (no rounding allowed) and 25% south of Cascade Head (rounded to the nearest integer).
This represents completion of the third round of testing under the Tri-State Protocol, and all areas in the Tri-State region north of Cape Arago, Oregon have met the respective minimum meat recovery criteria, while multiple areas south of Cape Arago have not. Based on these meat recovery results, and in consultation with the Oregon commercial crab industry and California and Washington fishery managers, we are opening the ocean commercial Dungness crab season north of Cape Arago (43º 17' 00" N. Lat.) to the OR/WA border, which will open as follows:
73 hr presoak begins (setting gear): January 1, 8:00AM Hold Inspections: January 3, see schedule at: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/commercial/crab/docs/IndustryNoticeNorthOpener_122918.pdf
Start date (pulling gear): January 4, 9:00AM The area from Cape Arago south to Gold Beach (Oregon harvest areas I, J, and K) currently are below meat quality criteria. The area from Cape Blanco to the Oregon/California border (Oregon harvest areas K and L) also remain closed due to persistent domoic acid detected in the viscera of crab. We will continue consult with industry and consider management measures to open the remaining areas in Oregon simultaneously. This will include consideration of opening areas affected by domoic acid under an evisceration order.
Fair start provision reminders: Fair Start provisions will be in place for all delayed areas in Oregon. A vessel used for fishing crab in any open zone within the Tri-State management area (from WA/Can border south to Point Arena, CA) may not be used for fishing crab in any other zone within the Tri-State area that opens at a later date until 30 days after the later opening date.
Vessel Hold Inspections reminders: Vessels must obtain a hold inspection prior to participating in the fishery for the first 30 days after opening. The vessel operator or owner must declare on the pre-season hold inspection certificate the zone in which the vessel will start fishing. Each inspection certificate must be signed by the vessel operator or owner, not by a crewman. We would like to thank everyone involved with preseason meat recovery and domoic acid testing efforts this year to help us ensure that Oregon Dungeness crab are of good quality and safe to consume.